Interviews 10 Mar 2020

Five Questions Why: Luke Styke

Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing rider on a variety of topics.

In this edition of Five Questions Why, dual AORC E1 champion Luke Styke discusses a variety of topics, including his plans to return to the MXstore MX Nationals in 2020.

Image: Foremost Media.

Why are you challenging for a third E1 AORC title?

The main reason is that I feel I can ride a 250 faster than a 450 in the bush, and the second reason is I’m going to do some MX Nationals this year, so the transition from 250 to 250 is going to be easier.

Why did you move back to New South Wales?

Living on the Gold Coast in Queensland is very limiting with tracks – I’ve spent way too much time in the car to get to places, and basing yourself in the city, it’s getting harder and harder to find places to ride. We moved back home to where I grew up, and we’ve got an abundance of tracks here at my fingertips. I’ve got about 30 places to ride within half an hour. We’re very privileged to have grown up in the area that I have, and it’s just going to benefit my riding here.

Image: Foremost Media.

Why are some MX Nationals rounds on the cards this year?

There’s just too big of a gap between MXN and AORC rounds, and I just want to be more active. Yamaha has made the opportunity for me to race, and I’ve been begging for it for a while. They got it over the line – now I can race more to potentially make more money. I want to do all of them, but we’re just going to see how the first half of the season rolls through. But yeah, I’m going to commit to the first few and then evaluate our situation after the third or fourth one. It’s pretty easy for our team to compete with it being on the Sunshine Coast – a lot of the Queensland rounds are up there, and we really only have to travel to the first one.

Why do you feel you’ll be competitive in those MX2 appearances?

That’s the plan! I don’t think my pace has changed since I was racing motocross, and I still ride a fair bit of motocross. I ride with guys who are competing up front, and my pace is very similar to there’s – I feel I’m going to be up front week in, week out. It’s just going to be adapting quickly to the motocross scene with motos and that kind of thing. My speed will definitely be fine – I feel carrying a pretty high pace in the bush transfers well on the motocross track. I think the speed will be fine, but this pre-season, I would’ve liked to have gotten more out of my body, but I picked up a few little niggling injuries coming into the first round of AORC, which put me back a couple of weeks. I think I’ll build through Horsham, and by round three I’ll be swinging.

Why are motocross riders quick to adapt to AORC?

I think it’s the intensity, and at the end of the day, if you’re a high-level rider in any discipline, I think it carries over quite well to different disciplines, whether that’s off-road, motocross or supercross. If you’re a high-level rider and you treat your job as a profession, then you adapt pretty well – you make yourself adapt well. I feel I’ve grown up on dodgy and busy motocross tracks, so I think I’ve had plenty of practice over the years. I still have so much to learn in the off-road stuff – I’m forever learning and always want to get better.